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Some thoughts from the training course on peer counseling leadership

I am one of the 4 people with disabilities (PWD) from Hai Phong city invited to take part in the training course on peer couseling (PC) leadership at Hanoi Independent Living Centre (Hanoi ILC) for the Team performing the Hai Phong ILC program (10-19/10/2011).

The journey from Hai Phong was organized well and we made it carefully and joyfully to Hanoi. Arriving at Hanoi ILC, we could feel the warm welcome, consideration by leaders of the centre as well as other members. The friendly and open atmosphere made us forget about feeling strange or embarrassed in the first moments. We soon got use to living and working at Hanoi ILC.


Member of Hanoi PC Group

This time, the course contained several topics including: Learning about the independent living model, what PC is, the history of PC in Asia (especially in Japan, Vietnam etc.); objective, principle and method of PC, as well as understanding the role of a peer counselor and customer.The course also helped us understand the most fundamental for future PC leaders.

In tandem with being equipped with a lot of knowledge of PC, we prepared presentation of our own, based on the knowledge learnt. We had time to practice with PC leaders and other peer counselors of Hanoi ILC.


At the presentation

Each of us had an opportunity to play a role of group leaders to perform counseling activities. The practice session helped us to learn consolidate the knowledge learnt as well as understand more about experience and real situations, taking place in the counseling session. PC leaders have additional practical experience. They know how to handle situations and answer the questions raised by participants in the process of PC. Of course, during practices shortcoming and embarrassment was unavoidable but we received heartfelt comments. We all acquired the comment and applied them quickly to make the practice session better day after day.

The training course ended successfully. The basic knowledge and real experience in each practice session gave us a lot of useful skills so that we could apply them toward PWD in our localities.


Receiving the certificate of the course

During the training course, apart from the knowledge learnt, we could acquire additional real experience about independent living in Hanoi through Hanoi ILC and the members of the centre. During the training course, here I had an opportunity to make friends with a lot of members of the Hanoi ILC. Moreover, we were invited to take part in the advanced PC training course. The dedication during the working process and the effectiveness of the moral support through PC to PWD was deeply felt.

Pham Van Hung- Hai Phong

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